Oliver James WILCOX

WILCOX, Oliver James

Personal Data

Party
Conservative (1867-1942)
Constituency
Essex North (Ontario)
Birth Date
September 1, 1869
Deceased Date
December 2, 1917
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_James_Wilcox
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=f13ba6c7-42fe-4251-8568-121a6f8ff019&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

November 10, 1909 - July 29, 1911
CON
  Essex North (Ontario)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
CON
  Essex North (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 45)


January 31, 1917

Mr. WILCOX:

I shall have another

opportunity.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT.
Full View Permalink

January 31, 1917

Mr. WILCOX:

Yes. Racing is prevented by the laws of Michigan and New York. They do bet, but it is not within the law. Therefore the fact that the law makes it an offence to bet in Michigan, is a restraint upon those running races within the confines of their own state.

When I introduced this Bill in the House the other day, I was attacked through the press by a Mr. Francis Nelson, who is the sporting editor of the Toronto Globe. I think I have met Mr. Nelson once or twice, and from all I know of him he is a courteous, kind gentleman, but he has not been fair to me in the columns of his paper. I want to say to this House that he is a servant of the Racing Association, and that the insinuations and the aspersions which he has cast are not fair to me. I desire to allude to them this afternoon. I'happened to make reference to the fact that the interests involved in this excess racing were per- . meated by American influences. Well, Sir,

I do not think that it was an offence to say that. But in the columns of his paper, Mr. Nelson at once set up the argument that I did not complain about all these business men of Detroit who come over to the city of Windsor and invest their money in my constituency. No, we do not complain of that, and we have no criticism to offer of the great body politic of the United1 States, the great open-hearted, free, patriotic public of the United States. When I used the term American, I had reference to that particular class of people whom many of the states in the Union have seen fit to legislate out of existence in the confines of their own state; and I absolutely refuse to have my constituency made a refuge for the surplus of that class of the population of the United States.

I want to make some reference to some of those gentlemen. There is a race track at Fort Erie. There are three race tracks at Windsor. There is a fourth application now filed with the Treasury Department at Toronto. A fifth one, I under-4 p.m. stand, is being organized. Three race tracks gave us last year forty-two days racing. Four will give us fifty-six days racing and five, if they are established, will give us seventy days. Will anybody say in this House, in view of the decision which Parliament came to in 1910, that I am not justified in coming to the members of this House and asking their support of this Bill which will establish clearly and distinctly what Parliament meant by its legislation of 1910? With further reference to that term " American influence " I want to make myself absolutely clear on that point, because in the city of Windsor and in the town of Walkerville and in the town of Ojibway, which will In the future be the great industrial centre of Ontario, we have prominent Americans and we welcome them; but let us see some of the men who are connected with this Racing Association-and I am fully alive to the fact that we have prominent Canadians connected with this association, men who are high in social circles and business circles and are the cream of society. I know it, and against them I have not a word to say. But I want to place my complaint clearly before the House this afternoon. And I do not desire to use my own words; I desire to quote from the official records and the sworn testimony given at commissions that have been held in Ottawa and in Washington.

We have connected with the Fort Erie race track, Mr. Madigan, who is the president. I must quote some evidence in regard to that, because the statement might be disputed. On page 273 of the report of the special committee on Bill No. 6, relating to Race Track Gambling, I find that Mr. E. T. Malone was called and examined. Mr. Malone was the solicitor, and he came to Ottawa to give evidence. The following is his statement:

Mr. Malone.-I have a telegram from Mr. Madigan authorizing me to appear as solicitor for the' association, also a telegram from Dr. Bruso, Buffalo, stating that Mr. Madigan is confined to his room with acute bronchitis and he has advised him to return south when he is able to travel. I am solicitor of the association which took out its charter under the Ontario Companies Act on the 27th day of April, 1906.

We were endeavouring to get some of the parties connected with these associations to Ottawa, in order to obtain some evidence as do their connection with American race tracks, and otherwise. With regard to the Windsor track, the following telegram appears in the report of the special committee on Bill No. 6, at page 290:

Mr. Raney.-Then I think there is a statement due from Mr. Counsell as to the books and statements that were asked for from the Windsor Association.

Mr Counsell.-The only statement X have to make is contained in the telegram that I received last night from Windsor, it is to the following effect:

Chief Wills sick, Magistrate Leggatt left last night, bookkeeper for Windsor Racing Association died recently, his successor ill with typhoid fever. Knows nothing regarding the books. Geo. M. Hendrie1 in the south, ordered there by his physician, present address unknown.

It would appear on the face of it to be a rather unhealthy organization. 1 wish to say in fairness that I recognize that the Windsor Driving Park Association has a large number of Canadians interested in it. I also recognize that the other tracks to which I have alluded have Canadians interested in them. But I do say that at the bottom, in and through them, they are *connected with associations that operate south of the line, as far away as Mexico, and that in the summer they come to the southern part of Ontario. Who are some of these men? On page 9, I find that an application was made to the district attorney of Brooklyn, who had a very full and complete knowledge of the operations of race tracks in New York state, to give evidence, from which I shall give a few extracts with reference to the Windsor Racing Association, and to some of the men who were prominent in it, and also as to their operations in the United States. The district attorney of Brooklyn had this to say with reference to Samuel Wagner, familiarly known as Sam Wagner, a noted owner of gambling houses in Chicago and other cities in the United States, and one who was for several years the principal owner of the race track at Windsor:

When the prosecuting attorney for Wayne county, Michigan, started after the race track gamblers, the Highland Park Club, which had conducted racing at Highland Park, about seven miles north of Detroit, leased the Windsor track and the races at Windsor are now run under the control of the Highland Park Club. According to the records of the county clerk's office, Wayne county, the Highland Park Club was incorporated in 1897, under the laws of Michigan. George M. Hendrie, of Detroit, is the president and Walter O. Parmer, of Nashville, is the secretary.

With regard to Fort Erie, the district attorney's report has this reference:

The racing club is practically controlled by John H. Madigan, the Texan. Madigan has a reputation all over the country as a fighter of game-cocks, and is in the habit of wagering thousands of dollars upon the outcome of one of these contests. He is simply a gambler and on the race track Is a plunger. Dan. J. Stuart, whose name appears in the annual returns of the association to the Ontario Government as a director of the association, was the man who staged the fight between Corbett and Fitzsimmons.

That is a sample. There was an investigation held at Washington, at which some very interesting evidence was given as to the operations of this institution. At Washington, on December 14, 1909, before a sub-committee of the Judiciary of the United States Senate on Bill 225, "To prevent the nullification of State antigambling laws by international or interstate transmission of race-gambling bets or racing odds," Mr. Henry Brolaski, an experienced racing man, gave evidence. He said:

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee.-In answer to the inquiry of Senator Nelson, I will state in a moment what bookmaking is. I will preface my remarks by stating that I reside at Monrovia, Cal., 18 miles from Los Angeles. I am engaged in the real estate business, being associated with the "Home Builders'' at 129 South Broadway, Los Angeles, Cal. Prior to entering that business, I was for twenty-one years a gambler, pool-room proprietor, bookmaker upon race tracks, and a handbook maker. I have booked in St. Louis, Chicago, Worth, Roby, Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Latonia, Louisville and Benning."

Senator Nelson.-You might tell us a little more fully what a pool room is?

Mr. Brolaski.-A pool room is a place where 20 or 30 or more people congregate in an afternoon to bet on horse races run on race tracks at a distance, the news being sent from the tracks to the pool room by telegraph.

The pool foom service is handled by an information bureau known as the Interstate News Company in the East, which leases wires from fhe Western Union Telegraph Company. Over .these wires they send the names of the Jockeys and scratches (meaning horses not to start this day), and then the betting and the official description of the race. The pool room allows from twenty to thirty minutes between races for their patrons to gamble.

It costs these pool rooms for this service ?22 per day for each set of races that they may take. At present they are racing at Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla., Oakland, Cal., and Juarez, Mexico, 1J miles from the International boundary line.

Senator Burkett: Please tell the committee

where the race tracks are.

I made the statement that they were affiliated with these tracks down there and

Buffalo press or the pari-mutuel operations in charge from the other side.

On July 18, 1916, Mr. W. D. Sqott writes the following letter to Mr. G. Seebach, Inspector in charge of Immigration, Bridge-buTg, 0

iSir,-As you are probably aware, the department has met with considerable trouble in the matter of the employment on race tracks of Americans imported for the occasion to the detriment of Canadians.

Inspector J. C. Mitchell has been following up the case lately and finds that in many cases (particularly at Fort Erie) the management of the race track claim that as the patronage comes largely from Buffalo, they are obliged to employ American ticket sellers, cashiers and clickers; some of the help admitted is German-American and pro-German in sympathy.

I think the time has come that we should no longer be dictated to by the Buffalo press or the management of these race tracks, and you may, therefore, enforce the immigration regulations in the strictest possible way as regards race track employees. The character of the men and the nature of the employment is not of the best, and if everything else fails you may invoke section 3 s.s. (g), especially when you know that there are qualified Canadians available for the work.

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) W. D. Scott, Superintendent of Immigration.

Immigration Branch,

Department of the Interior, Canada.

Toronto, Ont., August 4, 1916.

Sir,-I beg to advise you that I am going to the Fort Erie race tracks to-night, as the parimutuel operators have not received any word of their appointment from the Niagara Racing Association. They are, apparently, doing as at last meet, not replying to applications, probably hoping that these men will not show up on the track to-morrow. They are all going to be there.

I met Mr. Madigan at the Windsor meet and told him that where men were qualified to work on other tracks they would have to be given the same positions at Fort Erie. He still persists in claiming his right to place them wherever he sees fit, no matter what positions they have held on other tracks. As you may know the class of man he is, I have pointed out to him how he had made a returned soldier work as a clicker at the last meet, who has held the position as cashier at practically all the other tracks. Since his return from the front he has been a cashier at the Woodbine, both Hamilton meets, and at Windsor. He told me that he did not care about soldiers. I think a man of this stamp does not deserve any consideration. Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) Jas. C. Mitchell, Inspector of Employment Agencies. W. D. Scott, Esq.,

Supt. of Immigration,

Ottawa, Ont.

I! there is no objection, I have a few mere letters that I would like to be permitted to file without reading:

Immigration Branch,

Department of the Interior, Canada.

Toronto, Ont., July 7, 1916.

Sir,-There is some dissatisfaction owing to three Canadians, Messrs. Lawrence, Quinn and Canning, having been put on as clickers, while I am satisfied that they are competent ticket sellers and cashiers, having worked on other tracks in Canada. Mr. Martin would not say these men were not competent ticket sellers and cashiers. His contention is that he has given all Canadians work, and he has the right to. say what work he may put them at. It looks very much like discriminating against the Canadians, giving the Americans the positions at twelve dollars per day, and these three Canadians positions at five dollars per day, especially while some of these Americans are German-Ameri-cans. Mr. Lawrence is a returned soldier from the front, and quite naturally feels hurt.

Mr. Madigan says he is a Canadian. He told me that he prefers Canadians, but that so much of his patronage comes from across the river that he has to employ some Americans. I am quite satisfied that the management of this track is purely American, as their office is at Ellicott square, Buffalo, N.Y. As for Mr. Madigan claiming that he is a Canadian, it does not look very well when he will allow a German-American to be given preference over a Canadian soldier who has returned from the front.

I may state that the Canadians are very grateful to the department for the action they have taken in seeing that they were given positions on the Canadian race tracks. One of the Canadians was taken in to the office on Tuesday and accused of being the secretary who was responsible for bringing this matter to the attention of the department.

Mr. Martin complained yesterday that one of the Canadians was impertinent to one of his men, and as there is a good deal of feeling over this matter, I have decided to visit Fort Erie until the close of the races to see that no Canadian is unjustly treated.

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) Jas. C. Mitchell, Inspector of Employment Agencies. W. D. Scott, Esq.,

Supt. of Immigration,

Ottawa, Ont.

Immigration Branch,

Department of the Interior, Canada.

Toronto, Ont., July 24, 1916.

Sir,-I am informed that Mr. Smith, an American, is a very large stockholder in the Hamilton track, and that Sam Spencer, who is known as the New York Jew on the race track, and who caused the trouble on the Dorval track, where the Canadians were refused work in the first place, is Smith's representative. He was around the Hamilton race track at the last meet. I made inquiries and they always claimed % that he was not employed there, although he was in and out of the pari-mutual offices all the time and paid the men off the last day of the meet, and my impression is that he may have had something to do in offering some of the Canadians inferior jobs. Smith was in the Hamilton Jockey Club office to-day, and I was told by one of the operators, who was one of the outside officers, that Smith was going over the lists to-day.

I shall be in Hamilton on Wednesday at the opening of the meet, and will endeavour to see that these Canadians are not discriminated against, and, if necessary, I will examine the Americans as to their entry into Canada. I think the Hamilton Jockey Club has had fair warning.

I am enclosing herewith a copy of the notice sent out to the Americans.

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) Jas. C. Mitchell, Inspector of Employment Agencies.

August 18, 1916.

Sir,-Mr. J. C. Mitchell, an officer of this department, is attending the Windsor Jockey Club meeting. Mr. Mitchell has been instructed to furnish the department with a full report in the matter of all aliens employed by your association, I shall be glad if you will kindly furnish this officer with a list showing the names and nationalities of all employees in your pari-mutual department. Mr. Mitchell will call upon you and obtain the above list.

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) W. D. Scott. Superintendent of Immigration. George M. Hendrie, Esq.,

Windsor Jockey Club,

Windsor, Ont.

Immigration Branch,

Department of the Interior, Canada.

Windsor, Ont., August 16, 1916. Sir,-I wish you would advise George M. Hendrie of the Windsor Jockey Club, as soon as possible, to supply me with a list of all the employees employed in the pari-mutual department in order that I may check the same up to see how many Americans are actually employed. The other racing associations have supplied me with this list and I do not see why any exception should be made in this case. ' You might also advise me what action you desire taken in the Garland case, sending same in care of Immigration Office at Windsor.

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) Jas. C. Mitchell, Inspector of Employment Agencies.

W. D. Scott, Esq.,

Superintendent of Immigration,

Ottawa, Ont.

Department of the Interior,

Canada.

Ottawa, August 29, 1916.

Sir,-There were approximately employed at the Windsor track at this meet sixty-three Americans and seventy-four Canadians in the better positions, made up as follows:

Cashiers-18 Americans, 34 Canadians.

In money room-12 Americans, 4 Canadians. Ticket sellers-19 Americans, 18 Canadians. Calculators-4 Americans, 2 Canadians.

In ticket room-4 Americans.

To change money-1 American, 3 Canadians. Ticket checkers-2 Americans, 1 Canadian. Messengers-2 Americans, 3 Canadians. Blackboard man-American.

Field board man-Canadian.

Machinists to look after pari-mutuels_2 Canadians.

Telephone man-American.

Miscellaneous-3 Canadians.

Clickers-6 Americans, 31 Canadians. (There were Canadian clickers refused positions.) Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) Jas. C. Mitchell,

Inspector of Agencies.

W. D. Scott, Esq.,

Superintendent of Immigration,

Ottawa, Ont.

Department of the Interior,

Canada.

Ottawa, August 29, 1916.

Sir,-In reply to the letter of the Windsor Jockey Club in reference to myself, I may state that at the first meet this year I was promised the list of the employees on the pari-mutuels, but was refused at the last moment, only given the number of Americans and Canadians employed in the different departments.

On the first day of the second meet I spoke to Mr. George M. Hendrie, the president, in regard to the list, and the only satisfaction I got was he said he would see. I wrote the department and under date of August 18, Mr. Hendrie was notified to furnish me with the list. I did not receive this list until the 22nd, the second last day of the meet, and it only stated that the men were American or Canadian and did not give the permanent residence of the Americans. I had most of these men's permanent addresses and I checked the list over and secured from Mr. Elrod, who was in charge of the pari-mutuels, the number of the wicket that the different men were working at whose permanent address in the United States I did not have. I took every care not to disturb these few men when they were busy. I found a number of these had entered Canada without inspection, but it being the second last day of the meet I .did not disturb them.

I might say that there were six American clickers employed at the last meet from different parts of the United States-one from Washington,-and that Canadians were refused. I was unaware of this state of affairs through Mr. Hendrie not complying with my request to furnish me with a list on the first day, and I only discovered on receipt of the list that these American clickers were on.

I must take strong objection to Mr. Hendrie's statement that the Canadians who are complaining are incompetent and undesirable, and it is very unbecoming in the President of the Windsor Jockey Club to insult the Canadian people in such a manner, as they are more than equal to some of the Americans he employs on his track.

Your obedient servant,

(Sgd.) Jas. C. Mitchell, Inspector of Employment Agencies. W. D. Scott, Esq.,

Superintendent of Immigration,

Ottawa.

In conclusion, I ask that the Bill be given the second reading and be permitted to go to committee for consideration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT.
Full View Permalink

January 31, 1917

Mr. WILCOX:

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT.
Full View Permalink

January 31, 1917

Mr. WILCOX:

-any man could apply

to the Secretary of State, and by letters patent, obtain a race track charter in Canada. That was previous to the ligislaticn that was passed in 1910, which provided that in future no race track charters should be granted in that way, but only by special Act of this Parliament. I venture to assert that not a man who sat in this House at that time ever thought of the existence of these old charters. But that legis'ation had this effect; it at once placed a value upon those old charters, and in some cases they are asking to-day as high as $50,000 for one of them, because Parliament made it absolutely impossible for any new charters to be granted. Therefore, the owners of one of these charters could go to a good racing print like the city of Windsor, with 827,000 people across the line in Detroit eight Hours or ten hours from Chicago, six hours from Buffalo, five hours from Toledo, and six or

seven hours from Cleveland, and dispose of such a charter at a great profit. Situated as we are in close relation to the cities I have mentioned, we cah have races with 6,000,

8,000, 9,000 and 10,000 people every day, in the summer, and we do have as many people there as 20,000 on some occasions. It is that evil, that excess, that abuse which I am asking this Parliament to remedy under the provisions of the Bill which I have introduced. '

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT.
Full View Permalink

January 31, 1917

Mr. WILCOX:

Would it not he as reasonable, and as logical, to insert a proviso into the Act to limit the number of race tracks in Canada, and to limit the number of days' racing in any county to fourteen, as it was in 1910, to limit the meets on a race track to two of seven days each in a year?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS.
Subtopic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT.
Full View Permalink